The Last Ten Seconds of Life
The Last Ten Seconds of Life

Deathcore is having another moment. This new wave is being led by such heavyweights from last year such as Worm Shepherd, Osiah, Mental Cruelty, Signs of the Swarm, and Bound in Fear, and looks to be off to a good start with new Worm Shepherd and Shadow of Intent due out in January along with the subject of this review. It seems there are two denominations of this resurgence: Blackened deathcore and heavy, monstrous deathcore. The Last Ten Seconds of Life are in the latter category and have their work cut out for them.

If you want beatdowns, look no further than the initial track “Invictus Unto Fire.” However, to say there’s nothing else going on would be incorrect. It seems like your normal, downtempo, introductory track until the breakdown hits. Then, there are some almost fluttery synths. Not your typical blackened deathcore ones, either. It’s an interesting opener, letting you know this may be worth your time.

The next track I’ll mention is a bit further in the track list. It’s called “Guillotine Queen” and it may be the heaviest track here as it has a brief sample, then begins as a breakdown. Does it still count as a breakdown if it’s the beginning of a song? It also may make you think of Caribbean Queen. There’s another pretty solid breakdown to end the track.

“Vampire (A Blood Ballad),” track 8, is an experimental one for these guys, at least compared to what I’ve heard, with some clean vocals not unlike what Black Crown Initiate employs. When those vocals begin the track, I was a bit shocked and believed they would only be in the intro. That intro does last a little long as it takes up the entire first minute of a track that’s over 6. When they appeared later in the track, I realized how far these guys have come. After the second appearance of the vocals, the song breaks into clean guitars with more clean vocals. This is how you do deathcore with dynamics. Despite my initial surprise and annoyance with this song, it kills!

I wouldn’t be doing my job as a reviewer, however, if I didn’t mention the next track, “Glory Be 2 Misery.” I was initially skeptical when I saw that number in the song title. Then, the lyrics at the beginning. Oof. The appearance of those clean vocals this time save the track, but those harsh vocals in some spots make it sound like nu metal. Let’s just move on, shall we?

Near the end of the album, where a band certainly can’t have this occur, the momentum stalls. This is due to an interlude at track 10, followed by an actual song, and instrumental, the real last track, then another instrumental to close it. All of those were odd choices. The final real track, “A Lesson in Self-Preservation,” is a good one, and definitely feels final, but they decided to add “Procession” on in an odd move.

How does it stack up? Well, some of you will see references to nu metal, deathcore, and various other sub genres, then turn up your nose at this affair. That would be a mistake. For an album of nearly an hour, they have your breakdowns, beatdowns, and incorporate enough ideas to keep it fresh for even the casual listener. I must admit, there are some cringe worthy moments as mentioned above, specifically in the lyric department, but this is well past solid, and into excellent territory. Will it match up with the rest of the onslaught Unique Leader is going to unveil to us this year with new albums from bands such as Shadow of Intent and Worm Shepherd? Having heard one of those already, I will confirm it is on the same tier, but after hearing this, I’m wondering if maybe the question changes to “how does everyone else stack up compared to this?”

[Visit the band's website]
Written by J Mays
January 25th, 2022

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